Q&A with Pedestrian Advocate, Elizabeth Stampe

| 10/18/2010 10:05:31 AM

Tags: Alliance for Biking and Walking, Walk San Francisco, Carolyn Szczepanski,

ElizabethStampeIn 1996, a handful of bicycle and pedestrian advocates gathered for a retreat in the middle of nowhere. Way off the beaten path, at the Thunderhead Ranch in Wyoming, those leaders came up with a novel concept: creating an organization that doesn't lobby Congress or fight specific bike-ped battles, but strengthens and networks grassroots advocates across the continent.

Thus, the Alliance for Biking & Walking was born. And we've grown up fast.

That first year, the Alliance had just 12 member organizations. Now, we're more than 165 strong with organizations in 49 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces. Because of the growth of the movement, many grassroots groups have secured the resources to move from all-volunteer outfits to professionally run nonprofits. Between 1997 and 2009, the number of full-time staff at Alliance member organizations jumped from 20 to nearly 250.

In just the past couple of weeks, we've welcomed several new faces to the already impressive list of creative and visionary leaders in communities across North America. Meet Elizabeth Stampe, the first executive director of Walk San Francisco.

Where are you from and how did you end up in San Francisco? 

I’m originally from Hawai’i, but I moved to San Francisco after college in Santa Cruz. I’ve lived here, on and off, for almost 15 years.

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